Y2K went as smooth as silk, thanks to staff members

Despite the best efforts of the student newspaper the Link, which published a spoof issue last week announcing that some fall term marks had been wiped out, the turn of the millennium went by smoothly at Concordia.

Much of the credit goes to an emergency management team made up of senior staff members and headed by Vice-Rector Services Charles Emond. They and their colleagues planned carefully for any problems and set aside their champagne flutes on New Year's Eve to make sure that nothing went amiss.

Bright and early on January 1, a team of 12 employees from Physical Resources inspected every university building to ensure that the heating, electricity, fire prevention and safety systems were functioning.

Michael Di Grappa, head of Physical Resources, extended credit to Rick Young, Robert Lortie, Guy Lortie, Yves Gilbert and their teams for their work over several months.

Over at Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS), personnel monitored the university's computer systems for the rollover, and all went well. Assistant Director of Technical Services Steve Bush said that in a sense, IITS's preparations go as far back as 1997.

"As we replaced or upgraded machines, we took Y2K into consideration," he said. "It introduced a kind of arbitrary deadline." Concordia's massive student and financial information systems have both been upgraded recently.

In the weeks leading up to New Year's, IITS checked with suppliers to validate Y2K compliance, identified contacts in case of problems, and did more back-ups than usual. On December 31, IITS personnel shut off almost every computer system at the university. That night, about 10 staff members monitored the university's functioning systems by remote.

On January 1, Zenon Borelowski, IITS Operations/Production Manager, went in to make sure that everything was working, and the following day, the systems were powered up again.

Environmental Health and Safety personnel were also on call over the big holiday. Director Sue Magor said that Nabil Bissada was the main link with departments to identify critical equipment and services, and Normand Lanthier reviewed all the fire and safety systems. Christine Sidhom was in regular contact with Security and Physical Resources, even on New Year's Eve.

On a final note, the Security Department, who were responsible for access control and co-ordination in the event of a crisis, were greatly relieved that all went well.

- Barbara Black

Copyright 2000 Concordia's Thursday Report.